Does a girl ever have enough scissors? I do love my scissors, at least most of them. It is a luxury to hold well crafted scissors in your hand! There is a direct relationship between cost and quality with scissors. All my recent work has been back and forth between garments and quilts and it has helped me realize how important scissors are to quality work.
Most of my work is quilting, so my tool choices reflect that. The Essential Tools that are always at hand for me are these six (clockwise from the bottom): my leader cloth to start my stitches on so that any ick goes there instead of my quilt, my standard Clover seam ripper, glasses, stiletto for commanding fabric to do what I tell it to, Revlon black slant tipped tweezers-important for my ripping technique, and my uber important Kai curve-tipped scissors to make sure my threads are snipped right at the surface without marring my quilt. I cannot sew without these tools!
I probably should find a better way to store them, but the reality is this is how I store most of my scissors. It’s just so dog gone handy. The cup has a foam covered bottom to protect the tips and I do place them carefully in the cup each time.
Here you see the contents of the cup spread out-all 15 of them plus some of their friends that are stored elsewhere.
For me snips are very important. I do not want any whiskers of thread showing after I cut my threads. Because I frequently work in a whole cloth format, I am snipping threads-a lot! I see students come to class with long, thick, straight bladed shears that they use to cut their thread ends. I cringe because I know they are more likely to cut the surface of the quilt accidentally and because they cannot possibly cut flush with the surface-it will leave a bit of a whisker.
My snips of choice are Kai-see, I have TWO of them to the left. If I happen to misplace one, I always have another! Next are the squeeze snips. They are high quality also and if you have any hand issues, they are your go-to snips. But they run around $25, vs. $14 for the Kai’s. And the blade on the Kai stays sharp longer. On the far right with the orange handle are some Fiskars-they are not even in the same realm of quality and about the same price.
Moving on to garment scissors, my hands down favorites are Kai’s again. The ones to the left in the photo are Gingher light weights for cutting sheers. I just haven’t gotten around to replacing them with Kai’s. It’s not necessary to have a separate pair for cutting sheers, but it is nice to have a light weight pair of shears. Then to the right are two Kai’s-they are so sharp, well balanced and easy on the hands-you just can’t beat them.
Sometimes you need specialty scissors for certain jobs. On the far left are my Favorite Scissors on the Planet-my Dovo 4 1/2″ stubby embroidery scissors. Dovo’s are German made and for a brief time a local shop carried them. They are exquisite scissors and I have not found anyone who sells them domestically-at least this model. I bought out the local inventory and I have 3 pair in wait, just in case I need them. When I do cut work, like on my Daisy Fill Vest, these are a joy to use-they are so comfortable, they’re sturdy and they stay sharp.
Next, those super long shears are great when you want to cut a long straight line and don’t want to use your rotary cutter-like cutting along a straight, woven line in fabric. The last two scissors on the right I use for cutting the batting on my trapunto work-I need to make a tight cut without cutting the fabric.
I do have some miscellany scissors-on the left are my Gingher embroidery scissors that I use when I don’t need the accuracy of the Dovo’s. The middle pair are Dovo also and the far right are similar but less expensive.
Sometimes you have to cut paper and you need some paper cutting scissors. These are also Husband Approved and he is allowed to use them, grin! Does it go without saying that neither husbands nor children of any age are allowed to use my scissors?? I am sure the world would pivot if one of them used my Dovo’s……
Okay, we’ve all used pinking shears at one time or another and you know the drill-they gnaw rather than cut and they KILL your hands. Enough! I put the wavy blade in my rotary and achieve the same effect. I do this frequently on garments. Of all the fancy ways to finish seams, many times the best choice is simply a good ‘ole pinking.
This collection of garment scissors by Gingher and Singer I no longer use. I find Kai’s to be far superior and less expensive!
And oh, by the way, if you ever cut fabric with a metallic thread running through it….you’re going to kill whatever you used to cut it with, so choose your tool accordingly. It is metallic after all (I just slapped my forehead). Ask me how I know….